Oasis V Blur - It was twenty years ago….
Not today though, that would be August 12th that saw the battle lines drawn between the two Britpop bands, Oasis & Blur on the cover of the NME. Whilst there had been the usual Gallagherisms in the press, the spat was typically overblown in the tabloids resulting in this faceoff between the singles “Roll With It” & “Country House”. The later single hit the number one spot, Blur won the battle but may have lost the war in the resulting album sales as Oasis’ “ What’s The Story Morning Glory” sold over 4 million copies.
Twenty years later, Blur release a new album after a 12 year hiatus and Noel releases his second solo album under the High Flying Birds moniker, two months apart.
Noel’s LP “Chasing Yesterday” is another return to songwriting form, building on the excellent debut LP. Released at the end of March on a single LP this is a quality quiet pressing, that to my ears is the finest sounding Gallagher album to date. There are some masterful chord changes (The Girl with the X-Ray Eyes), melodic hooks abound (The Ballad Of The Mighty I). I really like the track “The Right Stuff” that mixes Portishead atmosphere with Stone Roses grooves.
This week Blur have released their new LP “The Magic Whip”. Their first new album since “13”, it’s a partial return to form released on two quality LP discs. This isn’t the Parklife album, only the opener “Lonely Street” harks back to the cockney classic and it never reaches the heights of the sharpest tracks on “Modern Life Is Rubbish & The Great Escape”. It is a huge improvement on Daman Alban’s extremely weak solo LP of last year (Everyday Robots). There are some beautifully understated songs here though (Ice Cream Man) and Stephen Street’s return at the recording helm is hugely evident.
It’s Manchester 2 London Nil.
See you in 20…..